Mary Poppins: Disney’s classic movie from 1964 had live action plus animation magic

Mary Poppins - Jolly Holiday

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The magical Mary Poppins arrived in theaters back in 1964, thanks to Walt Disney’s passion and persistence.

Here, see some classic movie clips and listen to a few of the songs — plus find out more about the film, the stars, and how it all came together.

Live action combines with animation in ‘Mary Poppins’ (1964)

The technique of combining live-action photography with the animated cartoon is employed in Walt Disney’s new musical-fantasy, Mary Poppins, which contains its two-week run at the State Theatre this week.

Julie Andrews won an Academy Award as Best Actress of the Year for her performance in the picture, which also stars Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns and Ed Wynne.

When Van Dyke, as Bert, a sidewalk artist, invites Mary Poppins, played by Julie Andrews, and her two young charges (Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber) to accompany him on an outing in one of his chalk-drawing pictures they step into a fantasy world of painted backgrounds inhabited by a wide assortment of Disney characters.

Mary Poppins movie - Chalk in rain

In her title role, Miss Andrews is the nurse for the children of a banker, Mr Banks, and his wife, the latter a suffragette leader who has no time for her children.

When Mary Poppins takes the two children to the bank, they are given a small sum by their father to deposit in a savings account, which they reluctantly do, but later return to demand the money back to buy birdseed for pigeons in the park. Their demands cause a stir in the bank, there’s a run on deposits, and the bank is broken.

Rushing from the bank, Jane and Michael run into Bert, who is now in the guise of a chimney sweep. He invites them to zip up a chimney for a birds’ eye view of London. When Mary Poppins happens along, they all dance merrily over the rooftops.

ALSO SEE: Dick Van Dyke: Interviews, insights & images from the long career of a multi-talented star

Several more sweeps join the happy group, and the dance continues on to the Banks’ house, where the maid, the cook, Mrs Banks — and even Mr Banks — are temporarily caught up in the spirit of the occasion.

The next day, Mr Banks finds a battered old kite he once flew as a child, and offers to fly it with his children. Mary Poppins sees them go, and realizes she is no longer needed here.

As she sails up over London, she sees Bert selling kites. With him are not only the Banks family, but also the executives of the bank.

Bert in Disney's 1964 movie Mary Poppins

Let’s Go Fly a Kite (movie clip of the song)

YouTube video

See the Hollywood premiere, and the classic movie trailer (1964)

HOLLYWOOD (UPI) – Walt Disney held one of his rare movie premieres the other night, and everybody was there, Snow White, her seven dwarfs, Mickey Mouse and Pinnochio.

So were Pluto, Goofy, the big bad wolf, three little pigs, Alice in Wonderland. Peter Pan, Captain Hook and several penguins.

It was one of the most dazzling premieres held here in years. Disney himself hasn’t done anything on such a grand scale in the past 27 years. His last big premiere was to send off “Snow White.”

Disney is not one to put on the dog too often or without good reason.

ALSO SEE: Classic Walt Disney Home Video VHS movies & short collections from the ’80s & ’90s

Disney's Mary Poppins movie - Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews

Hosted big party

Walt hosted the big party at Grauman’s Chinese Theater recently to introduce everybody to a grand lady, “Mary Poppins,” a personality and a movie which should be ranked among Hollywood’s finest. It certainly is high on Disney’s list of favorites turned out by his studio.

Dick Van Dyke, in the role of happy-go-lucky “Bert,” and Julie Andrews, playing “Mary Poppins,” the charming nurse with magical qualities, turn in two of Hollywood’s finest musical show performances.

The supporting cast is excellent, including Edd Wynn and Glynnis Johns. And Hollywood hasn’t seen such choreography in years.

More than 1500 persons crowded into the theater, including such real-life stars as Van Dyke, Miss Andrews, Wynn, Hugh O’Brian, John Gavin, Efrem Zimbalist, James Franciscus, Mary Tyler Moore, Doug McClure, George Hamilton, Tom Tryon and Lauritz Melchior.

ALSO SEE: The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Meet the real Mary, plus get the TV theme song & lyrics (1970-1977)

Looking around at his guests, Disney said, “It’s good to have something like this once a while, like celebrating a fortieth anniversary.”

Somebody asked Disney what he considered to be his biggest help towards success.

“I never had enough sense to quit,” he said.

Thank goodness he never got smart, or the world would never have seen talking birds, singing ducks, dancing elephants and flying horses.

See the Mary Poppins premiere in Hollywood, and the classic movie trailer (1964)

Mary Poppins trailer (with announcer)

Light up the sky — it’s the entertainment thrill of a lifetime!

“Mary Poppins,” Walt Disney’s newest and most delightfully entertaining motion picture

Starring the toast of Broadway’s musical stage, the incomparable Julie Andrews

And America’s fabulous funnyman Dick Van Dyke, as you’ve never seen him before

“Mary Poppins” — the fabulous adventures of the world’s most charming and delightfully eccentric heroine

Yes, the wondrous and magical ways of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins, so completely and so hilariously discombobulates the family with which she comes to stay, in such delightfully amazing ways, their lives are never again quite the same… and nor will yours be, when you’ve been touched by the magic of this magnificent new motion picture from Walt Disney, “Mary Poppins.”

YouTube video

(Scrolling text) With pride we announce the selection of this Theatre by Walt Disney for a Special Engagement of his Sparkling New Motion Picture, MARY POPPINS… the story of the world’s most delightful heroine, whose Magical and Wondrous ways transform each member of the family with whom she comes to reside, in such a way that their lives are never again quite the same… nor will yours be, when you’ve been touched by the Magic of this great new motion picture.




the Magic of TECHNICOLOR

Walt Disney’s MARY POPPINS

Scenes from Disney’s 1964 Mary Poppins premiere

YouTube video

Mary Poppins movie poster 1964

Take a trip back to your childhood with these vintage Disney book/record combos from the '70s

Mary Poppins movie - On the rooftops

Elusive ‘Mary Poppins’ is captured on screen at long last by Walt Disney (1965)

From the day the enchanting, elusive Mary Poppins character appeared on the American scene, straight from the pen of P.L. Travers, she was taken to the hearts of youngsters and their parents alike everywhere.

Now, the whimsical nursemaid, whose amazing out-of-this-world adventures have been related in five children’s classics — “Mary Poppins,” “Mary Poppins Comes Back,” “Mary Poppins Opens the Door,” “Mary Poppins in the Park” and “Mary Poppins from A to Z” — at long last steps from the printed page to become an unforgettable living, breathing personality through the motion picture magic of Walt Disney and the inspired performance of vivacious English singing star Julie Andrews in Disney’s exciting production, “Mary Poppins.”

Based on the “Mary Poppins” books by P.L. Travers, and enhanced by some of the brightest, most original songs ever written for a film musical, this fantasy emerges as one of the supreme achievements in the distinguished forty-year career of the master showman.

Mary Poppins - Jolly Holiday

“Mary Poppins” first appeared on the literary scene in 1934. Since then, people continually ask the author if the now famous English nanny was modeled from a living person.


“No, she wasn’t,” Miss Travers is quick to answer. “I didn’t even think her up. She just brushed past me and said, ‘You take it down.'”

When Walt Disney tried to acquire the movie rights, he learned they were not for sale.

In the meantime, other producers, in turn, considered the Poppins stories perfect material for a Broadway musical, a television special and a motion picture, but their offers, too, were rejected.

Several years ago, the paths of Disney and Miss Travers happened to cross in London. Walt told her of his interest in Mary Poppins, and inquired again about the movie rights. [Editor’s note: This is the story featured in the Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson movie, “Saving Mr Banks.”]

The noted authoress confided she had never considered a theatrical, TV or film offer for fear of what might happen to her stories, and particularly her heroine, in the dramatizing process.

Disney’s integrity and artistic endeavors impressed the English writer and their meeting concluded with her verbally agreeing to come to Hollywood at some future date to discuss a Disney film approach to “Mary Poppins.” If it met with her approval, she would sell Walt the movie rights.

On Disney’s return to the studio, the project was set in motion. Several months later, with preliminary work completed, Miss Travers was summoned for story conferences.

ALSO SEE: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Look back at this classic kids’ movie musical from 1968

She was very pleased with the treatment her beloved story was receiving. Contracts were drawn and signed, and the beloved nanny and her amazing adventures were on their way to becoming immortalized on celluloid. During one of the conferences, a Disney writer inquired if Mary Poppins was considered ageless.

“Not at all,” Miss Travers answered, positively. “She is precisely twenty-seven.” Coincidentally, this is precisely the age of the lovely and talented Julie Andrews, who makes her screen debut in the title role.

Filmed in brilliant Technicolor, “Mary Poppins” also stars Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns. Robert Stevenson directed from a screenplay by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi. Walsh was also co-producer on the Buena Vista release.

Mary Poppins with umbrella flying over London

MORE: Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’ spreads magic (1965)

Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins Poppin’ Flower Sticks (1973)

Free! In Hefty bags: Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins Poppin’ Flower Sticks

It’s fun to watch things grow. And grow they do with these revolutionary new Poppin’ Flower Sticks. Like magic! Indoors… outdoors… in all seasons.

Just push the stick into the earth. That’s all. Then stand back and watch nature do her bloomin’ best! A gift! From Hefty! The strongest name in plastic bags.

See Walt Disney’s great movie Mary Poppins at your favorite theater

Walt Disney's Mary Poppins Poppin' Flower Sticks 1973

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